LOTD: Darling Girl Cosmetics “Anam Cara”

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A recent order from Darling Girl Cosmetics included a lovely surprise: a sample of their loose eyeshadow in the shade “Anam Cara.”

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Darling Girl describes “Anam Cara” as “Smoky plum with a silvery green iridescence at first glance that changes to pinky purple shift and flashes of purple sparkle.” To me, it seems more like a deep charcoal/taupe that reflects bluish purple, but it does indeed have some pinky purple and green sparks.

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I tried a really simple look with the Maybelling Color Tattoo in “Bad to the Bronze” as a base, to bring out the warmth of the shade. Then a little “Anam Cara” all over the lid, some mascara, and hey presto!

IMG_2864I finished the look with the Balm’s “Houndstooth” Instain Blush on my cheeks, and Revlon’s Colorburst Matte Balm in “Sultry.”

I actually like the shade more than I expected. The duochrome is really apparent when the shade is applied to the eyes. I had wished the base shade was a little lighter, but I like the effect when it is paired with “Bad to the Bronze.” I’m really looking forward to trying out more shadows from Darling Girl.

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One more little birthday haul…

There has to be a limit to the amount of stuff we can legitimately justify buying with the phrase, “It’s my birthday.”

And yet, after posting a sizeable Birthday Haul on my YouTube channel, I found myself with yet another pile of products that I “treated” myself to because…you know.

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In my defense, I feel like I was pretty savvy in my bargain-hunting. 2 products were practically free: the Calvin Klein mascara was an Ulta free birthday gift I received through their loyalty program, along with a coupon for $10 off any purchase, which I used to pick up the NYX blotting powder (I ended up spending like $2.34 at Ulta that day). Then the RealTechniques “Sam’s Choice” Holiday set was in the clearance bin at my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond, marked down from $29.99 to $21.68 AND I used a 20% off coupon. Finally, I got pulled into Nordstrom Rack, and this is where things started getting dicey. I thought I’d try out a random leftover Kate Spade lipstick, since they were going for a mere $8. Then I spied a Kiehl’s lotion in Vanilla Cedarwood–the PERFECT scent for winter, so of course I HAD to get it (though I need more lotion like hole in the head). And then…well there’s just nothing I can say to justify buying a set of NARS products for $34, except that it was marked down, and gave me the chance to try 3 products I’ve never tried from NARS.

And that’s not all, folks. But here I really did show some fiscal responsibility. Instead of splashing  out for items from one of the high-end spring collections, I decided to try out a very affordable indie brand that has enjoyed a bit of hype: Darling Girl Cosmetics.

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This was such a nice way to round out my birthday purchases, because my items came all wrapped up like a present!

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I decided to try out 6 loose eyeshadows. Though the jars are all the same, most are sample sizes, while I splurged on one full size. I also got a few little free gifts. Two eyeshadow samples and a sticker.

I’m excited to try out a new brand, and DGC was extremely affordable. Even the shipping was cheap. I can go back and order more next month without feeling too guilty. Now that I’m trying to watch my spending more, I want to explore more small, indie brands that I can sample without blowing my budget. I’m excited to try Fyrinnae next. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

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Quick Look: Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

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I stopped in to Ulta the other day to make a return, but I couldn’t resist a little swatching. I’ve recently been very intrigued by the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette. I love the concept of corresponding mattes and shimmers, but I’ve never been able to get totally on board with the Lorac Pro Palette–I just wasn’t crazy about the choice of shades. This Smashbox palette, on the other hand, includes shades that I really think I would use often.

However, it should be noted that the top row is, for the most part, not made up of standard shimmers but very chunky glitter shades. The middle, pale pink shade, is a smooth pearl, but all the others have pretty prominent sparkles.

store lighting

store lighting

store lighting

store lighting

with flash

with flash

I didn’t end up buying the palette…yet. I’m still on the fence. While the midtone mattes seemed to have a nice texture, the dark brown and black mattes were dry and sheer. The shimmer shades in this palette have gotten a reputation for poor color payoff; they seemed pretty decent in the swatches, but I don’t know how they would apply to the eyes. This palette contains less product than the Naked palettes, so I really wish it was at a slightly lower price point–if it were $40 rather than $50, I think I’d jump on it, but for now I’m still hemming and hawing.

What are your thoughts on this palette? Anyone planning to get it? Anyone try it yet?

UPDATE: Yeah, I went ahead and bought the palette. I’ll do some looks when it arrives in the mail.

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LOTD: Naked 3!

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I can’t rightly say why, but when I got my Naked 3 palette I didn’t go right home and start playing with it. Did I just get it because of the hype? Did I really need it? I definitely do not often wear pink shades on my eyes, but I do love a good mauve, and some of the rosy and plummy browns in the palette are lovely and unique. But it’s high time I started using this palette, and deciding whether it was actually worth the money.

Continue reading

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Shades of…Rose Gold!

The other day I mentioned picking up a few of the MAC Extra Dimension eyeshadows from the Magnetic Nudes collection (in fact I did a review of them on my YouTube channel). I wrote in a recent post that I was disappointed that “A Natural Flirt turned out to be less unique than I thought. But when playing with my various shades of rose gold eyeshadow, I realized that with “Sweet Heat” I had the opposite experience; it turned out to be surprisingly distinct from the other shades I owned. In fact, I was surprised across the board at how these shades–all quite similar in the pan–looked drastically different when swatched. I thought a post was in order.

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click to enlarge

Left to Right: [1] Sonia Kashuk Moroccan Dunes #3, [2] Smashbox “Ignite” (Softbox palette) [3] Smashbox “Peachy” (Ready for Your Closeup quad), [4] Urban Decay “Trick”, [5] L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow “Amber Rush”, [6] MAC “Sweet Heat” Extra-Dimension Eye Shadow, [7] Stila “Sunset”, [8] tarte “Pacific Sunset” (Gorgeous Getaways palette), [9] tarte “Tuscan Sun” (Carried Away palette)

I tried to really stick to rose gold and not stray into copper, but it ended up being pretty difficult. As I said, I was quite astonished by how these shades–all fairly similar in the pan–looked so distinct when swatched. The two tarte shades lean coppery, and are the most similar of the bunch. MAC’s “Sweet Heat” and L’Oréal’s “Amber Rush” are similar, both leaning more peach than orange, but “Sweet Heat” is darker and has a definite taupey-ness to it. Urban Decay “Trick” is by far the rosiest of the bunch; juxtaposed against the prominent pinkness of the other Naked 3 shades it looks very coppery, but next to coppery shades its pink tones appear. Stila’s “Sunset” actually looks less pinky-red than it appears in the pan surrounded by the In the Light shades.

What are your favorite products for a rose gold glow?

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Mini-makeover: blog edition

Considering how much time, effort, and money I put into developing looks for my face, I’m willing to commit surprisingly little of all three to my blog. But I have been growing a little tired of that old blue background, so I decided to try out a new blog theme.

Tell me what you think!

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Quick Look: MAC “A Natural Flirt” Extra-Dimension Eyeshadow

I picked up a couple of the Extra Dimension eyeshadows from MAC’s Magnetic Nude Collection. While they seemed a little blah in photos, when I swatched MAC’s “A Natural Flirt”, I thought it was a really pretty shade to give a hint of shimmer to the lids–a soft shimmery peach that had a little glint of iridescence, producing flashes of pink sheen.

But when I started using it I began to feel that, unique though it was, maybe the shade was a bit too subtle to really distinguish itself from other similar shades. I tried swatching it alongside other peachy-beige and champagne shades in my collection. Unfortunately, the shade is so close to my skin tone that it’s tough to see in a swatch, but I thought I’d share some pics anyway to give a sense of how it compares to some other popular shades.

Left to Right: [1] Smashbox “Fizz” (from Softbox Palette), [2] Lancôme “Gaze”,  [3] Stila “Kitten”, [4] theBalm “Devilish Danielle”, [5] theBalm “Standoffish”, [6] Urban Decay “Skimp”, [7] Urban Decay “Illusion”, [8] MAC “A Natural Flirt”, [9] Physician’s Formula #3 (from the Classic Nude Shimmer Strip palette), [10] Wet n Wild eyelid shade (from the “Walking on Eggshells” Coloricon palette)

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sun

shade

shade

indoor lighting

indoor lighting

Urban Decay’s “Illusion” seemed like the best match, but I also wanted to compare it to a few pigments in my collection.

Left to Right: [1] bareMinerals eyecolor “Peach Surprise, [2] bareMinerals eye color “Mademoiselle”, [3] MAC “A Natural Flirt”, [4] bareMinerals all-over face color “pure radiance” [6] MAC “Naked” Pigment

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note to self: always take swatch photos at 2:30 pm –these showed up perfectly!

Here I got even better matches. As I suspected, “A Natural Flirt” is rather close to MAC’s “Naked” Pigment. It’s also extremely similar to bareMinerals “Mademoiselle”, which unfortunately was a limited-edition shade from the “Frill Seeker” set that came out a couple years back. But “Naked” is readily available, and given that a MAC pigment includes enough product to basically last you the rest of your life, this might be a better deal.

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Quick Look: Maybelline * The Buffs* Color Sensational Lipsticks

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I have to admit that the Colorsentational line has never been my favorite lipstick. Nevertheless, when I saw the nice new display in my Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I couldn’t resist.

I took advantage of the nice secluded corner of the beauty section to snap some pics of the entire line.

L to R: 910 Born to be Naked, 915 Blushing Beige, 920 Nude Lust

L to R: 910 Born to be Naked, 915 Blushing Beige, 920 Nude Lust

L to R: 925 Maple Kiss, 930 Truffle Tease, 935 Sin-a-mon

L to R: 925 Maple Kiss, 930 Truffle Tease, 935 Sin-a-mon

L to R: 940 Touchable Taupe, 945 Stormy Sahara, 950 Untainted Spice, 955 Expresso Exposed

L to R: 940 Touchable Taupe, 945 Stormy Sahara, 950 Untainted Spice, 955 Espresso Exposed

Nudes are extremely hot this season, and I love the concept of exploring all the variations on the nude lip. Though many of these shades certainly appear similar, there are subtle differences at work, and given that the nude lip can often be difficult to match to one’s skin tone, I think this is a real boon for anyone who has had trouble finding a nude that doesn’t give them zombie lips.

A little part of me wanted to grab one of each shade, but I contented myself with just 3.

L to R: 915 Blushing Beige, 945 Stormy Sahara, 955 Espresso Exposed

L to R: 915 Blushing Beige, 945 Stormy Sahara, 955 Espresso Exposed

“Blushing Beige” is a lovely peachy nude, while “Stormy Sahara” is a full-on peach, and “Espresso Exposed” is a deep, vampy shade that looks very brown in the tube, but when applied takes on a rich, deep red tone. It reminds me of the color of dried blood.

Or of something less creepy…

I’ve had a bit of trouble with “Blushing Beige” settling into lip lines, but adding a gloss on top seems to help. I love it in combination with the Maybelline Color Elixir in “Intoxicating Spice”; the two shades mix to form a gorgeous nude that goes with anything.

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Maybelline *The Buffs* “Blushing Beige” + Color Elixir “Intoxicating Spice”

If you want to know more about this line, check out the fill review on my YouTube channel! :)

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Drugstore Doings | New Products from Maybelline

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I popped in to Bed, Bad, and Beyond today and was pleased to see a few new products on the shelves from Maybelline. Following the nude trend that’s hot for spring, Maybelline has a new line of ColorSensational lipsticks: The Buffs. The display I saw had ten shades of beige, pinky-nude, and warm brown ranging from dead pale to deep and vampy.

IMG_2698Building on the BabyLips hype, Maybelline has released a “Baby Skin” instant pore eraser.  I expect this will be something along the lines of Benefit’s The Porefessional. Does no one else find the name “Baby Skin” a tad bit creepy?

IMG_2699Finally, I was glad to see Maybelline jumping on the splatter-effect trend for nails. Hard Candy’s Black Tie Optional kicked off this trend in the drugstore, but I’m glad to see a few more affordable options popping up.

IMG_2700It seems that the line includes 5 shades: a red, blue, turquoise, neon green, and a shade that could be white but looked like it had a slight pink tinge in the store lighting–all of the shades seem to have black and colored glitter of varying shapes and sizes suspended in a clear base.

I’m trying to keep makeup purchases to a minimum after some holiday splurging, but I was tempted to pick up a couple of things. If you want to see what, stay tuned…

 

 

 

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Looking for Naked 3 in the Bay Area?

All of the Bay Area Sephoras were sold out of Naked 3 earlier this week, but I found out today that the Sephora in Stonestown Galleria (3251 20th Ave, San Francisco) just got a shipment of them, and had them available today.

But if you want one, I would call them first thing in the morning and ask to have one put on hold for you…they’re gonna go fast.

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